The most recent project, the I-4 Ultimate, is a 21-mile improvement project which will add four new express lanes in the center of I-4. The I-4 Ultimate project covers the area of I-4 from west of Kirkman Road to east of SR 434. The express lanes will relieve traffic congestion by giving travelers an option to use the lanes by paying a toll. The toll price will go up or down depending on the amount of traffic that is on I-4 at any given time of the day. To further improve mobility, access to and from these special lanes will be limited to designated on and off points. FDOT is in the process of acquiring a team to begin construction of the I-4 Ultimate project by Fall/Winter 2014.
To provide the same level of congestion relief to other parts of the interstate, FDOT has begun the I-4 Beyond the Ultimate PD&E reevaluation study. This study covers approximately 40 miles of the remaining critical portions of I-4, outside of the I-4 Ultimate project area. This includes the segments of I-4 from Kirkman Road south to US 27 in Polk County and from SR 434 to SR 472 in Volusia County. To comply with Federal and State regulations, the original environmental documents are being updated for these segments. Click here for more information on these environmental documents.
I-4 is a major highway connecting the west and east coasts of Florida, from the Tampa Bay area in the Gulf Coast, through Metropolitan Orlando and to Daytona Beach on the Atlantic shoreline. I-4 is widely used by not only local residents and commuters, but by tourists traveling to some of the world’s premier travel destinations located right here in Central Florida.
In addition to the growing visiting population, Central Florida has experienced rapid growth in recent decades which is putting a larger demand on our roadways. The increase in traffic contributes to slower travel times and heavy congestion. Crash incidents have shut down the interstate, causing backups on other roadways throughout the metropolitan area.
Future population and employment estimates for this region show that travel demand will continue to increase well into the future. Without any improvements to the interstate, traffic delays and congestion can be expected to occur not only during rush hour periods, but other times throughout the day. Movement and delivery of goods through the urban area will become slower, having a substantial impact on the local economy. Additionally, longer travel time spent on the roadways can lead to a lower quality of life for the area’s residents, visitors and commuters. The table below shows existing and projected future traffic volumes on I-4.
The need for improvements to I-4 is illustrated by the important transportation roles I-4 serves to the Central Florida region and the State of Florida. If no improvements are made to the Interstate, a loss in mobility for the area's residents, visitors, and employees can be expected, resulting in a severe threat to the continued viability of the economy and the quality of life.